Monday, September 20, 2010

Zombie Pie

Before anything else, let me say that "Zombie Pie" is, without a doubt, the ugliest thing that has ever oozed out of my kitchen.

Let me begin at the beginning. On Saturday, I had a very full day planned: sewing, running and baking a dessert that I would serve after going out to dinner with Dr. Kiang and Turg.

I decided that I would try a new-to-me recipe: Clafoutis. My good friend MarMar, who is a wonderful baker, mentioned that it is one of her favorite recipes from the King Arthur Flour Bakers Companion, our mutual favorite book on baking. Clafoutis is a French dessert which IMHO is the fritatta of the dessert world, as far as cooking method goes. Basically, you pile up a bunch of fruit in a pan, pour a sweet egg, flour and milk batter on top, and then bake until it is set. Kind of like a pie without the hassle of a crust. Very homespun. Although traditionally made with cherries, I decided on a blueberry-peach version of clafoutis, since I had both in the freezer - leftovers from a binge at the farmer's market.

Here's where things started going awry. Given how much I had planned to do on Saturday, I was somewhat pressed for time: the fruit was thawed, but still pretty cold when it went into the pan. Also, I didn't have the 10" dish that was called for, so I settled on using a 9.5" inch pie plate. When I poured the batter over the fruit, not all would fit in the pan. I figured that my clafoutis would just be a bit extra fruity and probably would take a bit longer to set, which was fine with me. However, it turned out that it was so juicy that there was no way to tell whether the batter was set, so after an extra half hour (nearly double the baking time), I decided that I would just have to call it done. At this point it looked like a bubbly mass of fruit - not too different from a crisp or cobbler. Homey.

Dr K was a near-permanent fixture at my folks house during our high school and college years. So, the plan was to head there for dessert with my parents and two of my sisters. Anyway, when my mom unwrapped my clafoutis, it was a shock. As it had cooled and settled, it went from homey to homely. It looked like the zombie version of a blueberry peach pie (human: zombie::blueberry pie: Clio's clafoutis). No amount of powdered sugar could pretty this monstrosity up. Fortunately for me, my close friends and family have no problem eating zombie for me, and everyone agreed that, despite it's homely appearance, it was rather tasty. How can you go wrong with baked farmstand fruit draped in a sweet custard-like cake?

Anyway, as usually happens with my kitchen endeavors, when faced with a setback, I have to try-try again. So, expect to see a (hopefully less homely) clafoutis from me soon.


Mar-Mar said...

My word verification word is "repie" appropriate!!

I think a larger dish will help out here. At least the batter will fit in there.

Claufouti is rustic, so, the zombie pie looks pretty good. Additionally, with Halloween coming, you may just have the perfect seasonal dessert!

Claufouti is not a pretty dessert, but it is pretty tasty! I wish I had tried it!

Clio said...

LOL, yes, thanks go to Turg for coining the seasonally appropriate name!